Charles Goodnight invented the Chuck Wagon in 1866. Goodnight and his partner, Oliver Loving made a Trail Drive of 2,000 longhorns from the Fort Belknap area in northern Texas, to Denver Colorado. Goodnight purchased a U.S. Government Wagon and had it completely rebuilt according to his specifications.
The distinguishing feature of the wagon was the sloping box on the rear with hinged lid that lowered to become a cook’s table. The box was fitted to the width of the Wagon and contained shelves and drawers for holding food and utensils. “Chuck” was food to a cowboy. So the Wagon that carried the food became the ” Chuck Wagon “.